I suppose the boots that were available for someone like T&D would be completely different than boots you would buy for your 12-14 year old recreational skater though. I am not talking about what was available at the top of brand, but what was generally sold as reasonable beginners boots. My parents definitely did not go for the cheapest; they wanted the boots to last for a while (and they did last! )
Originally Posted by Tarpic2
Edeas are getting v v v popular with the younger skaters!
As far as I know, Jackson is still leading, with Edea (Ice Fly) following, and Riedells and Harlicks...
As for blades, Paramounts are extremely noisy but if you need the lightness then go for it
the new revolutions are semi-hollow... never used, no comment
gold seals- my spins coach ADORES (bobbe shire)
It seems that the Edea's are popular, but is it really because they work or because they are hyped up? Every skater I've talked to has said that Edea's are good until they break because they really break. They can't continue to skate in them at all until they get a new pair..unlike the traditional leather skate that still holds you up until you manage to get your new boots. They also complain about the fit. If you don't get them fitted right then they cause a lot of problems. Getting fitted right is good if you live near someone who knows how to do it, but most skaters don't. I've also known a lot of skaters that have gone back to the leather boot after wearing Edea.The most popular brands that skaters seem to stick with in the U.S are Jackson, Riedell and Risport.
If you check out most of the high level skaters, especially the Olympic skaters, most of them either wear Jackson or Risport (very popular among the russian skaters). Most of the blades were also either Wilson, MK or the Ultima Matrix.
I've heard they are better for jumping because they are lighter. I've never tried them so I'm not sure, but I'd like to try them if true.
The new line of Riedell's are much lighter and supposedly fairly comparable (or getting there) to the lightness of the Edea.
I have Paramounts, and yes they are noisy. I believe this is due to them being the 440 stainless steel version. They also make a 420 stainless steel and carbon steel models though, and I would imagine that at least the latter should sound more like a traditional blade. I'm not completely sure though, because another fundamental difference between them and traditional blades is the aluminum body - steel will flex a bit and spring back to it's original position unless bent hard enough to warp, but aluminum is very rigid and will not bend unless it is in a permanent sort of way (you would not want that!). That subtle difference in flexibility might also be the cause of more noise on the Paramounts.
Originally Posted by mskater93
I got my Paramounts back when the company was new and nobody else had any yet. At that time they only had one profile and didn't advertise that it was a mimic of Pattern 99's. I got them because I got a great deal offer on them after my previous skates with Gold Seals were stolen. I wasn't interested in them, but the price was right and I decided to give them a fair shot since I had speculated that they would be awful. I don't think they're awful, but neither do I plan on sticking with them.
The stainless steel is nice in that it stays sharp FOREVER, and you don't have to worry about possibility of rust, but I didn't think that periodic sharpenings were ever a big deal. What's really strange is that, perhaps because of the material, or again perhaps because of the lack of flex, they feel way sharper than the same sharpening on traditional blades. I used to like 3/8" or 5/16" ROH sharpenings on my Gold Seals (and before that Gold Stars) to get plenty of bite, but on the Paramounts I have only a standard 7/16" and it still feels too sharp even though it has been years since my last sharpening! I cannot do one-foot stops anymore - not for lack of skill but because when I do the blade skips and jumps across the ice unpleasantly rather than allowing a smooth stop. I suspect the problem would go away if I reduced the ROH to 1/2" or bigger. I also find the appearance of them frankly ugly. Not as bad as Matrix blades or the new Revolution blades, but ugly nonetheless. I really prefer the appearance of traditional blades - chromed single-piece steel - but especially gold plated ones.
If I had to get new Paramounts, I would try carbon steel versions with a Gold Seal profile to see what I thought. However at this point I'm eager to go back to Gold Seals - I know it's a blade that works wonderfully for me (I definitely liked moving to it from Gold Stars), I don't mind the extra weight (actually I think it's beneficial for strength development), and I prefer the appearance.
Paramount has this nice image comparing 3 common profiles (which they offer on their blades in any of the materials listed above):
Boots and blades weigh how much compared to your body weight? Even traditional all-leather boots with solid steel blades? How much of a difference can you get with the lightest boots and blade options? We're certainly not talking about much, and there's a lot of compromises I'd rather not make in order to shave that weight off. Personally, I think that weight of the boots is an overrated subject. If you're used to jumping in heavier boots and move to lighter ones, then sure, you may see an initial improvement, but that improvement may disappear as soon as you are acclimated to practicing in the lighter boots. Sometimes I'm tempted to get used to skating with 5lb ankle weights so that when I take them off I can realize a nice improvement - they weigh much more than a difference in boots would!
Originally Posted by alexeifan
I had Graf Edmonton Specials in the past. The skate fitter who was also an ice dancer recommended them and it's what he used them. They punished my feet and made me wish I didn't have ankles or heels. They also started falling apart catastrophically within a year. Maybe okay for ice dance but I wouldn't advise them for freestyle use. I have Klingbeil now and they are a million times better.
Originally Posted by concorde
Originally Posted by Babbette1
Let's not forget that those boots looked just hideous. And this is a sport where appearance and gracefulness matters as much as the athleticism, at least to most of us.
Originally Posted by mskater93
Haha, I can relate! My first pair of skates were some ancient ones like that, which I purchased on eBay for a low price. I could bend and twist my ankle any which way I wanted. They were cheap department store brand skates with the blades riveted into the plastic soles, but at least at the rink I went to, they were better than the dull rentals, if only because I could have a sharp blade. I skated in those until they started falling apart (only a couple months, the lace hooks started ripping out), then moved on to Graf for about a year before switching to Klingbeil.
Originally Posted by hanca
i think revolution blades are absolutely gorgeous, but you are entitled to your opinions.
Originally Posted by Casey
the shape of the paramount (no idea which one- sorry) drives me insane- i despise it. also i don't even care where the sound comes from; i just know that it's there and that i never want to try them.
All the Paramounts look identical - the only difference is the color of the upper part, or the type of metal or profile of the runner. As for what's attractive versus ugly, that's of course subjective - the revolutions are a more modern look but I'm old-fashioned I suppose. What matters is that you really genuinely like whatever equipment you own. It's motivating when you can't wait to pull your beautiful skates out of the bad. It's not so great when you look around shamefully hoping nobody sees the blades you have on your skates, hehe. I am a bit spoiled - I went from black Klingbeils with natural brown leather soles and gold-plated Gold Seals to the same boots with black soles and black Paramounts. I still miss the old ones a lot!
Originally Posted by pooh-beanie
To add insult to injury, a month or two after my skates were stolen, I received an E-mail from somebody saying they had bought them at a secondhand store for $50, read my name off the bottom and inside (Klingbeil puts your first name on the bottom and last name on the insole), googled my name and contacted me asking if I wanted them back for free. I wrote back expressing my gratitude and even offering a reward, but they never replied after that! *grrr*...
In case you're curious...
Here is a picture of my Grafs at the heel after one year of use. I might add, that it was a year of pretty basic skating - I bought them after maybe 2 months since I first set foot in an ice rink. You could hold the blade still and wobble the top of the boot from side to side due to the heel separation. BOTH heels were separating, though the right one was worse:
Originally Posted by Casey
Also suede does not look nice as it ages: